Category: Heritage-Maryland

Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse

Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Board’s original request for $60,000 to build a lighthouse was made in 1890 to mark the entrance to the Baltimore channel at the mouth of the Magothy River.  Those funds were approved by Congress in 1894, but after extensive testing which revealed a layer of soft mud 55 feet below the surface of …

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Love Point Lighthouse

The first request for a lighthouse to be built at Love Point was in 1834, but that request was rejected in 1837 after Captain Claxton of the Navy Commissioners Office claims that “it would be totally useless for vessels passing up or down the bay and is not necessary for the limited number of craft …

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Janes Island Lighthouse

A lightship was maintained for 14 years from 1853-1867, at Tangier Sound to mark the entrance to the Little Annamessex River just west of Crisfield, MD. In 1850, Congress appropriated $8,000 to construct a lighthouse to replace the lightship. This hexagonal lighthouse was completed, and the fourth-order Franklin lens was first exhibited on October 7, …

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Holland Island Bar Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Holland Island Bar Light was originally a white hexagonal cottage screwpile structure built in 1889. The light was located in the Chesapeake Bay west of Holland Island, north of the Smith Island.In 1931 the lighthouse keeper was mysteriously found dead in his bed at the lighthouse. In 1957, …

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Greenbury Point Shoals Lighthouse

The original Greenbury Point Light Station was constructed in 1849 to mark the entrance to the Annapolis Harbor. In 1878, the Lighthouse Board reported, “The light, in its present position, is of little use, and is so small that it can hardly be distinguished from the lights of the Naval Academy and the harbor of …

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Great Shoals Lighthouse

Great Shoals Lighthouse was constructed in 1884 at the entrance to the Wicomico River to mark the narrow, deep water channel. It was necessary to support the increasing oyster trade in the area. The Lighthouse Board recommended that a lighthouse be constructed in 1882 and in March 1883, Congress appropriated $15,000 for the construction. Framework …

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Fog Point Lighthouse

Fog Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1827 on the northwestern tip of Smith Island, the Chesapeake Bay off Crisfield by John Donahoo at a price of $3,500. It was used to mark the narrow passage north of Smith Island through Kedges Strait. The lighthouse was a one and one-half story saltbox style white house with …

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Cedar Point Lighthouse

In 1896, the Light House Board requested $25,000 from Congress to build Cedar Point lighthouse on the southern side at the mouth of the Patuxent River to mark a dangerous sand bar. Cedar Point sat on 1.54 acres with a three-story brick and cedar-shingle house crowned by a 50-foot tower housing lens and fog bell …

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Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse

  Cobb Point Bar Lighthouse, also known as Cobb Island Bar, was built to mark the entrance to the Wicomico River from the Potomac River. Prior to the construction, passenger vessels often traveled up the river, only to become grounded on a bar the extended five miles. The U.S. Lighthouse Board originally made the initial …

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Clay Island Lighthouse

In 1831, Congress appropriates $5,900 to construct a lighthouse on Clay Island. Clay Island was located at the entrance to the Wicomico River on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay at the confluence of Nanticoke River, Fishing Bay, and Tangier Sound. The land was purchased at a price of $500 and the deed was …

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Choptank River Lighthouse

Choptank Replica

The Choptank River Light was constructed in 1870 and was a hexagonal cottage style screw pile lighthouse built by Francis A. Gibbons. The lighthouse sat at Bernoni Point in the Choptank River and replaced the Lightship Hooper Strait/Relief (LV 25) that was anchored there from 1870-1871. This lighthouse was similar in style to the York …

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Turkey Point Lighthouse

Turkey Point Lighthouse is located in the Elk Neck State Park. It was authorized by Congress in 1831 and was built in 1833 with a tower and keeper’s quarters by John Donohoo. The tower is 35 feet high and is situated on a 100-foot bluff where the North East and Elk Rivers converge. Originally, the …

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Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Thomas Point Lighthouse - Can you tell if the pickets are new or old?

Perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in The Chesapeake Bay, The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is the last screwpile structure left on its original site in the bay. It went into service on November 27, 1875, to replace a light on the shore at Thomas Point at the entrance to the South River. The Lighthouse Board …

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Solomon’s Lump Lighthouse

The first lighthouse erected here in 1875 was a square cottage style screwpile design. It replaced a light at Fog Point on Cherry Island about a mile to the south that was built in 1827. The screwpile lasted for 18 years until January of 1893 when ice build-up caused the structure to be bent over …

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Sharps Island Lighthouse

The Sharps Island lighthouse is a cast-iron caisson filled with concrete with a brick-lined cast iron tower built on top. The tower is 37 feet tall which sets the light 54 feet above the mean water level. This structure was constructed in 1881-2 and first lit on February 1, 1882. This is the third light …

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Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Seven Foot Knoll

Seven Foot Knoll Light was the second screwpile light to be built on the Chesapeake and the first to be built in Maryland. It is built entirely of iron and in a circular design, which is unique among the Bay’s screwpiles along with its barn red color. It was constructed in 1855 at the mouth …

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Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse

In 1883 the Sandy Point Shoal caisson with a 37-foot Empire-style eight-sided, red-brick tower with a white roof and black lantern housing a 4th order Fresnel lens was built. This caisson replaced an earlier Sandy Point Light that had been built on land where Sandy Point State Park is located now. It was an onshore …

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Pooles Island Lighthouse

Pooles Island Lighthouse

NOTE: This light is off-limits to the general public because the island was used for bombing and shelling practice from 1918 through the early 1960’s. There are many unexploded bombs and shells all over the island. The light on Pooles Island was authorized by Congress in May of 1824. John Donahoo was the low bidder …

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Point No Point Lighthouse

  The first requests for placing a light at this location were sent to Congress in 1891. Congress took no action and the requests were made each year until finally in 1901 $65,000 was granted for the building of the light. Contracts were let for the fabrication of the caisson and the ironwork in 1902. …

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Point Lookout Lighthouse

Point Lookout Lighthouse on a rainy November day.

The Point Lookout Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Potomac River at the Bay and was originally constructed in 1830 as a one-and-a-half-story wooden and masonry building. It was raised to two-stories in 1883 with the light raised to 41 feet. A free-standing fog bell was built in 1872, however, after the buoy repair shed was …

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Piney Point Lighthouse

Built in 1836, the Piney Point Lighthouse and keeper’s quarters are located 14 miles up the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to this, a lightship was stationed in the area since 1821 to mark dangerous shoals at Piney Point. This beacon stands preserved today as a witness to a bygone era of high …

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Hooper Strait Lighthouse

  The entrance to Tangier Sound was marked with a lightship from 1827 or 1828 to 1845. The first lighthouse was constructed in 1867 and destroyed by ice during the winter of 1877. The second screwpile lighthouse was constructed in 1880. The structure was designed and built in Baltimore, then dismantled and re-erected at the …

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Fort Washington Lighthouse

Fort Washington

This light station was established in 1857 at Fort Washington along the Potomac River south of Washington, D. C. The light was authorized by the United States Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, who a few years later became the President of the Confederate States of America. The initial light was an illuminating apparatus on top …

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Fort Carroll Lighthouse*

  Fort Carroll Light was originally built on a parapet of Fort Carroll in 1854 with a sixth-order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse and fog bell were removed in 1898 to make room for the fort’s expansion. A new light was constructed in December of the same year; a square wooden tower with black cast iron …

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Fishing Battery Lighthouse*

Fishing Battery Light was constructed as an integral one-story brick house with a wooden rooftop lantern built by John Donahoo in 1853 and contained a sixth-order Fresnel lens. This was the last lighthouse constructed by Donahoo on the Chesapeake Bay and one of the last lighthouses ordered by the Pleasonton administration. The light is located …

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Bodkin Point Lighthouse

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard First established in 1822 (discontinued in 1855) the Bodkin Point Lighthouse would have been visible from the North Overlook in the distance. It has long since crumbled and what remains of the lighthouse and the island on which it stood now show only as a ‘navigational hazard’ on present-day …

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Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse

The U.S. Lighthouse Board received several requests for the establishment of a lighthouse on Kent Island. Bloody Point Bar was the final choice and a request was submitted in 1868 to mark both the bar and the northern entrance to the Eastern Bay. The request was repeated in 1869. In March of 1881, Congress finally …

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Hooper Island Lighthouse

Hooper Island Lighthouse is one of only five lights constructed in the Bay during the 1900’s.  The Hooper Island Lighthouse is located in approximately 18′ of water, approximately three miles west of Hooperville, Upper Hooper Island. It is a caisson style light, sunk 13.5 feet into the muddy bottom of the Bay.  It was first …

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Drum Point Lighthouse

  Drum Point Lighthouse was originally located along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay at the northern side of the mouth of the Patuxent River. Efforts to place a light at this location began in the 1850s due to the need for a light to mark the location of shoals around the point. Disputes …

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Concord Point Lighthouse

Concord Point - looking good!

Concord Point Light is a 36-foot tower that was built in 1827. It is the second oldest tower lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay and the oldest continuous lighthouse in Maryland. The tower is built at the point where the Susquehanna River meets the tidal flow of the Chesapeake Bay and navigation is very hazardous around …

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